British Columbians have turned out in record numbers this year to get their flu shot, helping to protect themselves and those in their communities.
The province’s community pharmacists have met the challenge of meeting the much greater demand and have during this now delivered more than one million flu shots this year.
On Dec. 21, 2020, Health Minister Adrian Dix particularly thanked pharmacists for their work during this flu season.
"I want to just underline the extraordinary work done by pharmacists in B.C. I think that they, like many others, have done extraordinary work throughout this pandemic," said Dix, during his regular press conference.
"Consider that last year, in total, the entire influenza vaccine effort last year, pharmacists administered 724,256 doses. To date this year, and we're just partway through the campaign, pharmacists have administered 1,001,204 doses."
COVID-19 required pharmacists to make changes to how they delivered these immunizations to ensure they and their patients were safe. Since delivering the first flu shots in 2009, B.C.’s community pharmacists have become increasingly important in the annual campaign to immunize for influenza.
The record number of flu shots administered this year demonstrates British Columbians continue to place their highest confidence in the skills and knowledge of pharmacists, when it comes to getting their flu vaccinations. This year, it is expected pharmacists will administer more than 70% of all the flu shots in the province.
“Pharmacists are proud of the role they have played in this year’s flu campaign. In a year where the stakes couldn’t have been higher community pharmacists met the challenge of protecting British Columbians, “ said Keith Shaw, President of the BC Pharmacy Association.
“Our community pharmacists appreciate the support of Minister of Health Adrian Dix, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and Dr. Bonnie Henry. They ensured community pharmacists could access the vaccines the public needed, to meet the overwhelming demand this year."